The Ancient West African City of Benin, A.D. 1300-1897 Exhibit

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Summary

From July 26, 1995 to May 31, 2004, the National Museum of African Art reinstalled 24 objects that featured the royal court of Benin (located in present-day Nigeria) as it existed before British colonial rule. The objects included several examples of the cast-copper alloy Oba, beloved by Benin people to be a living god whose physical and spiritual good health ensured the well-being of the land. Other objects included images of kings and attendants in the form of cast-metal heads, figures, and architectural plaques; cast-copper alloy altar bell and a pendant of a European and horse; and an ivory spoon with bird. These objects revealed a culture that, although changed over time, continues today. In addition, a panel provided a basic description of the lost-wax casting process.

Subject

  • National Museum of African Art (U.S.)
  • The Ancient West African City of Benin, A.D. 1300-1897 (Exhibition) (1995-2004: National Museum of African Art)

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

"The Ancient West African City of Benin, A.D. 1300-1897," Smithsonian Exhibition Catalogue, July 26, 1995 - May 31, 2004, http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/Details/The-Ancient-West-African-City-of-Benin-AD-1300-1897-1235.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

July 26, 1995 - May 31, 2004

Topic

  • Artifacts
  • Exhibition catalogs
  • Decoration and ornament
  • Sculpture
  • Ethnology
  • Exhibitions
  • Jewelry
  • Decorative arts

Place

  • Benin
  • Nigeria

Full Record

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